Prague, Feb 25 (CTK) – Hundreds of people took part in a demonstration for freedom, democracy and free business held on Wenceslas Square in Prague centre today, on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the Communist coup in Czechoslovakia.
Some of the participants carried banners with anti-communist slogans and criticism of current Prime Minister in resignation Andrej Babis (ANO).
The rally was organised by civic groups, businesspeople’s associations, some parliamentary and extra-parliamentary parties and the Confederation of Political Prisoners.
In the opening speech, the organisers rejected a possible return of the Communists to power and the government of one party. They reminded of hundreds of thousands of victims of the communist regime (1948-1989).
Speakers at the two-hour demonstration were TOP 09 chairman Jiri Pospisil, Civic Democrat (ODS) deputy head ODS Martin Kupka, historian Pavel Zacek and representatives of civic and businesspeople’s associations.
Most of the speakers warned of the Communists’ rise to power and criticised President Milos Zeman as well as the activities of the current minority government of Andrej Babis’s ANO, ruling in resignation.
This is actually a government of one party without confidence of the Chamber of Deputies, the speakers said, pointing to the government’s “purges” in state administration and various business restrictions.
They challenged the electronic registration of sales (EET), introduced by the previous coalition government, including Babis’s ANO, and the ban on smoking in restaurants.
Later in the afternoon, some 30 people met on Wenceslas Square to commemorate Jan Zajic, an 18-year-old student who set himself of fire on February 25, 1969.
He followed the example of Jan Palach, a 20-year-old student, who burnt himself to death in January 1969 to rouse the society from lethargy following the 1968 Soviet-led Warsaw Pact troops invasion of Czechoslovakia that crushed the Prague Spring communist-led reform movement.
The organisers of today’s event said it was also aimed against indifference and forgetting the past. This is why they placed at least a temporary plaque marking Zajic’s act on the square.